Saturday, April 29, 2017

Facebook admits that it was used to spread propaganda. Gee, no shit.

Courtesy of The Guardian:

Facebook has publicly acknowledged that its platform has been exploited by governments seeking to manipulate public opinion in other countries – including during the presidential elections in the US and France – and pledged to clamp down on such “information operations”.

In a white paper authored by the company’s security team and published on Thursday, the company detailed well-funded and subtle techniques used by nations and other organizations to spread misleading information and falsehoods for geopolitical goals. These efforts go well beyond “fake news”, the company said, and include content seeding, targeted data collection and fake accounts that are used to amplify one particular view, sow distrust in political institutions and spread confusion. 

“We have had to expand our security focus from traditional abusive behavior, such as account hacking, malware, spam and financial scams, to include more subtle and insidious forms of misuse, including attempts to manipulate civic discourse and deceive people,” said the company. 

In its effort to clamp down on information operations, Facebook suspended 30,000 accounts in France before the presidential election. The company said it was a priority to remove suspect accounts with high volumes of posting activity and the biggest audiences. 

The company also explained how it monitored “several situations” that fit the pattern of information operations during the US presidential election. The company detected “malicious actors” using social media to share information stolen from other sources such as email accounts “with the intent of harming the reputation of specific political targets”. This technique involved creating dedicated websites to host the stolen data and then creating social media accounts and pages to direct people to it.

Look I see this as a positive step.

And working alongside Google who is now also working hard to suppress fake news, this might make it a lot easier moving forward to avoid the kind of fake news and purposeful propaganda which helped get Donald Trump elected and disenfranchised so many potential voters.

Having said that I should also reiterate that the very best filter for fake news is to stay informed as much as possible and to use your critical thinking skills to fact check information which seems odd or too good to be true.


  1. Anonymous4:42 AM

    Yes and now the twit tweety useful idiot is now in charge of usa after rigging the election. Certain CEO's worried about their millions and billions made the decision to help. Whether knowingly or unknowingly they allowed it to happen. And now Americans have had months of lies, hate and destruction flooding our life due to it. Just like many other consumer products, it is thrown at us without safety in mind. Marketing and promotion has become a breeding ground for criminals from the swamp. And now the LIAR fat slob pos sob is trashing our country. The ugly asshole has zero respect for human life or the planet.

  2. Anonymous4:48 AM

    Most people on facebook, twitter, classmates or any other type program are young and busy and do not research or have the skills to critical think. They receive this info over a cell phone and the criminal goal is for them to spread through contacts. Like a toxic web it spreads, the thoughts altered, the outcome is hate, anger, division, divide and emotional damage. It is the evil delivered by evil people. Toxic waste.

  3. Anonymous4:49 AM

    Why don't they eliminate fake "like" purchases while they're at it. Some people are not followed and adored as much as they'd like others to believe......

  4. Anonymous4:52 AM

    100 days of a old fat slob tweeting garbage and lies around the globe. He is a disgusting old ugly liar and rapist getting away with it for now. The only remedy is for him to RESIGN and get out of our life and take his alt reality cult with him. Turn off your stupid facebook, twit accounts and all social media today. Don't spread lies from the liars.

  5. Anonymous5:06 AM

    Yes and twitter useful idiot is now in charge of USA.

  6. Anonymous5:10 AM

    Sarah palin used blogs to attack her enemies while she scammed Alaskans. And she helped cruz and don the con scam America. And they used social media to create hate and spread evil. That evil caused suicides, murder and division of family and friends. ALL of them are guilty and deserve nothing less than prison and shame. And they will get it.

    1. Anonymous5:28 AM

      Which is why she can take her "daily devotional" crap and shove it up her ass sideways!

  7. Anonymous5:22 AM

    Peter Thiel is on the board of FB. I doubt that any of this was an accident.

    Before the election I had heard an analysis that suggested that FB could sway an election, based on the way that turnout seemed to be affected by news feeds, specifically how more people voted with the I VOTED thing. They didn't do that in 2016.

  8. Anonymous6:17 AM


  9. Anonymous6:40 AM


  10. Anonymous8:23 AM

    Facebook is TOXIC. End of report.

  11. Anonymous8:27 AM

    I hope they look closely at Facebook users in America. I think the Russians are still pervasive, still pouncing on Hillary posts with as much gusto as before the election.

  12. Anonymous8:55 AM

    Remember the kid in Israel who called in bomb threats to the US? Well I mentioned it to a Jewish friend and he tried to tell me that there hasn't been an uptick in antisemitism. No, it's the liberal media reporting it more often because Trump. Okay whatever.
    Sent me a terribly written article from Commentary Magazine to support his position. Hey at least he tried to give me some kind of citation. Whew what a bunch of tripe!

    Not the worst case of propaganda brain but refusing to acknowledge something because it hasn't affected you personally is stubborn at best and down right frightening at worst. Because if you can't acknowledge the problem you're part of the problem. His attitude is something like-don't blame my guy for violence against my people it's been happening for thousands of years. Umm okay.

  13. Good luck with that.

    There are people who still believe "A Nation at Risk."

    It's all fine and dandy to say use your critical thinking skills but too many don't even know where to start. Especially when it comes to online sources.

    When the Republicans started to gut education through budgets 40 years ago, school districts, in order to keep the cuts as far away from the classrooms as possible, started with the library. No one understood what the role of librarians were in education. They figured technicians could check books in and out and shelve. The library was full of books so they really didn't need any more.

    That's when the dumbing down started. Now you have generations that don't even know how to use a library. Nor do they know what librarians do.

    They are specialists in information. Their degrees are in library and INFORMATION SCIENCE.

    "Google can give you a million answers. A librarian can show you how to find the right one."


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